3 Reflections on the themes of the Giver

Essay by Arsenal4vrJunior High, 8th gradeA+, April 2009

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“From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor’s rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own.” (Carl Schurz) Due to diverse and unbalanced environments around the world bringing discomfort to many, a Utopian society, similar to the one in “The Giver”, is an ideal alternative. Ideally, 25,000 people would not die painfully every day from hunger and malnutrition. In “The Giver’s” society, everybody always has a meal that will prevent hunger or malnutrition, fulfilling the basic need of food. Currently, basic needs of shelter and care are not always satisfied. As a result, unfortunate millions die from starvation, illness or trafficking. “The Giver’s” environment is harmless and painless. Children live in a dwelling with parents. Meanwhile, Elders live in the elderly center, cared by “Caretakers of the Old” and volunteers. Judging on the volunteer work and the personality that shapes a child, elders determines the children’s paths.

This would prevent unwise choices leading to horrendous catastrophes like 9.11. During tragedy of 9.11, many died and many were injured. Some people suffered minor injuries, but others suffered major injuries, creating lifetime disorders that will affect the paths of their lives. If there were an event similar to 9.11 that happened in “The Giver’s” society, pills would immediately cease pain and cure disorders. Disabilities are discriminated in the real world. In contrast, disabled citizen are “released” to prevent confusion and chaos. In conclusion, a Utopian society is an ideal solution for the tribulations caused by diversity.

Bobby Chan“Diversity shows character” versus “all men are created equal”; one world, two paths. Due to the Utopian principals “The Giver’s” society developed under, Jonas has changed greatly from discovering the beauty of diversity. Physically, Jonas has become significantly stronger after being the Receiver of Memory for a year. Before receiving any memories, the pain of crashing into a door was almost unbearable. Afterwards, Jonas has become a lot more enduring. Throughout the course of a year, Jonas suffered from a twisted ankle, sunburn, hunger and many other pains. Jonas’ mental change has been phenomenal. Before the Ceremony, precise grammar and playing by the rules were Jonas’ primary concern. In addition, Jonas had no reservations in sharing any of his thoughts. After a year with “The Giver”, Jonas’ life took a big turn. To begin with, Jonas saw things with a different perspective. With memories of senses and emotions, he brought meaning to his pointless life. Second, he started bending the old rules by lying about his work, contributing less to the group discussions and not taking stirring pills. Last, Jonas was rebellious. Furious with the ideas of Sameness, Jonas argued against all the basis of his society with “The Giver”, challenging Utopian principles. Sensing that life is pointless without emotions and diversity, Jonas decided to escape “The Giver’s” society. Overall, Jonas has changed greatly from the year as Receiver of Memory.

Bobby Chan“You are what you wear.” Due to the Utopian mood (similar to one found in The Giver) with uniforms, Mrs. Anderson must allow free dress. Free dress allows students to express themselves. This would bring the ability for students to show his or her true character. Everyone could then learn each other’s positive nature to develop a stronger character. Students in HKIS also belong to a diverse range of ethnic groups. Many cultural elements would be included in a student’s choice of clothes. This allows cultural interaction in the school that gives students priceless skills that cannot be taught - of accepting and adapting to other cultures and environments. Without these skills, students may discriminate against other races; an act that has led to conflicts and many wars throughout history. In addition, students will have to interact with people from different cultures to do business. Free dress also brings spirit to the usually lackluster school. For example, if a student wears a Santa costume during Christmas, people could merrily sing Christmas carols. Students whom are not Christians can benefit by learning the festival of Christmas. In short, free dress must be allowed in school to allow character development, encourage cultural exchange and bring spirit to the school.

Sources:The Giver, by Lois Lowry